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Experienced Houston Family Law Attorneys & The Woodlands Divorce Lawyers

Spousal Maintenance

Under Texas law, there are two ways in which a spouse may seek spousal support from the other spouse (please see below). When adjudicating issues regarding spousal maintenance (which is also known in other states as alimony), the court must consider a number of factors. Some factors are objective such as the age, education, and ability of each spouse to be self-supporting. Other factors are subjective, such as whether there are convictions for acts of domestic violence by one spouse towards the other. Spousal support or spousal maintenance is very difficult to acquire in Texas. Please contact our Houston Spousal Support Attorneys and our Spring Alimony Lawyers at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham for a review of your case and analysis as to whether or not a court of competent jurisdiction would consider spousal maintenance as part for your divorce proceedings. Our Houston Divorce Attorneys work one-on-one with our clients and you will always be able to stay in touch with our Spring Divorce Lawyers in all matters.

Criminal Conviction Or Deferred Adjudication

As stated above, there are two ways in which a person may obtain spousal maintenance and alimony in Texas. Under Section 8.051 of the Texas family Code, a person may obtain spousal support from the other spouse if the spouse from whom maintenance is sought is either convicted or received deferred adjudication (no contest pleas) for a criminal offense that is related to domestic violence. The criminal incident must have occurred with 2 years from the date of filing the Texas Original Petition for Divorce (dissolution of marriage) or while the divorce proceeding is pending.

Ten Years or More of Marriage and Special Needs

Subsection 8.051(2) allows a spouse to seek spousal maintenance if it has been 10 years or more since the date of marriage. The spouse seeking support must show that the person lacks personal properties, including property distributed to such spouse based on Texas community property law, to provide for the spouse’s personal needs. In addition, the spouse must also show that, (1) the person cannot support himself or herself because of either mental or physical incapacity, (2) the person is the custodial parent of a minor child or children that requires substantial care and support because of either mental or physical incapacity, OR (3) the spouse seeking supports clearly lacks the earning capacity to provide the minimum and necessary support herself or himself. Remember, the spouse only need to prove either one of the later reasons for spousal support.

The later requirement, “lack of earning capacity,” is one that is most often use, but is not necessary the strongest reason. This is a factual question and each case is unique. In determining whether the spouse required spousal maintenance, the court will look at the following factors:

  • The duration of the marriage,

  • Financial resources of the spouse seeking alimony,

  • The spouse' education and employment skills,

  • The ability of the spouse of whom maintenance is sought,

  • Acts of the other spouse that constitute destruction of community property, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, or fraud,

  • Comparing both spouses financial resources,

  • Contribution of the spouse seeking maintenance as a homemaker,

  • Marital misconducts such as adultery, and

  • The efforts of the spouse seeking maintenance to obtain jobs, such as job search, applications, and employment counseling.

If you feel that you may be entitled to spousal maintenance based on the information provided above, please contact our Houston Spousal Support Attorneys and our Southwest Houston Marital Support Lawyers at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham Our experienced Houston Contested Divorce Lawyers will assist you to analyzing the fact of your case and assist you in filing your divorce petition, as well as seeking spousal maintenance and support.


Please do not rely on the information above to replace a personal consultation when with our Houston Spousal Support Lawyers and our Houston Alimony Attorneys. There may be other legal issues, depending on the fact and circumstances, in which we have not had the opportunity to discuss in this article. It is to your advantage to contact the experienced Houston Marital Support Lawyers and the Houston Spouse Support Attorneys to review and to provide a personal consultation. Please contact our Montgomery County Divorce Attorneys and Harris County Alimony Lawyers at 713-517-6645 or complete our Online Contact Form.